Opinion No. 130
from the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the
State of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Thomas J. Ryan, District
district court's judgment and order of probation is
vacated and the order denying Mr. Linze's motion to
suppress is reversed.
Fredericksen, Interim State Appellate Public Defender, Boise,
attorney for appellant. Sally J. Cooley argued.
Lawrence G. Wasden, Idaho Attorney General, Boise, attorney
for respondent. Russell J. Spencer argued.
Nature of the Case
Patrick Linze Jr. ("Appellant" or "Mr.
Linze") appeals his conviction for possession of
methamphetamine. He contends that the district court erred by
refusing to suppress evidence obtained by police during a
traffic stop. Specifically, Mr. Linze argues that: (1) the
traffic stop was impermissibly extended in order to allow
time for the drug detection dog to arrive; (2) the traffic
stop was impermissibly extended in order to allow the drug
detection dog to conduct a sweep; and (3) the alert of the
drug detection dog was insufficient to establish probable
cause to search the vehicle because the dog was unreliable.
Mr. Linze's initial appeal before the Idaho Court of
Appeals resulted in his conviction being vacated. That court
held that the time during which the drug detection dog
conducted its sweep of the vehicle was an impermissible
extension of the original traffic stop. This case comes
before this Court on a petition for review filed by the State
Factual and Procedural Background
November 25, 2013, at approximately 10:19 a.m., Officer J.
Bridges of the Caldwell Police Department ("Officer
Bridges") initiated a traffic stop in Caldwell, Idaho.
The reason given for the stop was that the vehicle had a
cracked front windshield in violation of Idaho Code section
49-902. Officer Bridges made contact with the driver of the
vehicle, Rhea Monique Linze ("Mrs. Linze"), and the
passenger, Mr. Linze, and explained the purpose of the stop.
After initiating warrant checks on both Mrs. Linze and Mr.
Linze, Officer Bridges called for a Canyon County
Sheriff's Office Deputy K-9 Unit. The call for the K-9
Unit was placed at 10:28 a.m., approximately nine minutes
after the stop was initiated. Officer Bridges testified that
while the K-9 Unit was in transit he continued to conduct the
warrant checks and wrote Mrs. Linze a citation for driving
with a cracked windshield.
Bryce Moore ("Deputy Moore") arrived at the scene
with his drug detection dog ("Hash") at
approximately 10:38 a.m., ten minutes after he was called and
nineteen minutes after the stop was initiated. At that time,
Officer Bridges stopped writing the citation and running the
warrant checks. Deputy Moore then approached Mrs. Linze and
asked for consent to search her vehicle. When she refused
consent, Deputy Moore walked Hash around the exterior of the
vehicle. Hash gave a positive alert at the front of the
vehicle. At trial, the State estimated, based on speaking
with Officer Bridges, that the time from Deputy Moore's
arrival to Hash's alert was two and a half minutes. The
State conceded that during those two and a half minutes,
Officer Bridges had stopped pursuing the original purpose of
the stop and was instead serving a "backup
function" to Deputy Moore.
Hash's alert, both officers searched the interior of the
vehicle. Deputy Moore visually located a glass pipe with
white crystal residue in the passenger door panel armrest.
After retrieving the pipe, Officer Bridges informed Mr. and
Mrs. Linze of their Miranda rights. Mr. Linze admitted to
ownership of the pipe and admitted that he used it to consume
the district court, Mr. Linze moved to suppress all physical
evidence, testimony, lab reports, photos, documents, and
incriminating statements resulting from the search of Mrs.
Linze's vehicle. A hearing on the motion to suppress was
held on April 28, 2014.
hearing, Officer Bridges testified that he did not delay the
traffic stop while waiting for the K-9 Unit to arrive. He
testified that the stop took twenty minutes because: "I
was thorough. On warrant checks I ran both through the
computer. And my handwriting is very sloppy, so I take my
time when I write my tickets. . . . If I would have finished
early, I would have called off the canine." Officer
Bridges further testified that while Deputy Moore conducted
the dog sweep, he stepped out of his car and provided
"cover." "It's for his safety, "
Officer Bridges explained. "He's not paying